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LDS Dating Rules and Guidelines


Boy and girl sitting at food court
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As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have high standards regarding LDS dating. What are those standards? Why should you wait until the age of 16 before dating and whom should you date? Also learn how proper dating prepares you for a mission and temple marriage.

Waiting to Date:

LDS Youth are counseled to not date until they are at least 16 years old. Not only is dating during your early youth not the proper time for dating, but it often leads to inappropriate behavior. The guideline to wait to date is inspired counsel from Latter-day prophets and when followed it brings blessings.

There are many reasons why this important guideline has been given, including the following:
"In your early teens you are just beginning a process of emotional, social, mental, and physical development that will go on for years. Dating too early in this maturing process can complicate your life.
"For example, it's not unusual to develop strong romantic feelings during your early teens. With those feelings often come desires that are made even stronger by the fact that you are maturing physically. And all of this happens at a time when you still don’t have the emotional and mental maturity to deal with those feelings," ("Q&A: Questions and Answers," New Era, Feb 2001, 16).

Who Should You Date?:

When choosing someone to date, look for and date only those people who have high moral standards. If you are unsure if a date would respect you then that's a good indicator to say no, or at least wait until you are sure of that person's character. A good question to ask yourself when contemplating a possible date is, "Does this person live the gospel standards?"

Don't date someone you know will tempt you to compromise your standards or your virtue. It's better to not date then to date someone who does not respect you. As a son or daughter of God you have a right to be respected as well as respect those you date.

Dating Other Latter-day Saints:

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ you are strongly encouraged to only date other members of our faith. Because of our high standards we believe in only dating those who respect and keep the commandments of Jesus Christ.

The experiences you gain from dating will prepare you for a temple marriage. The chances for a happy, healthy temple marriage are much greater if you only date other Latter-day Saints who uphold the same standards.

(To learn more about dating non-members see, "Q&A: Questions and Answers," New Era, Jul 2001.)

Group and Double Dating:

When you start dating, and throughout your youth, it is best to date in groups or go on double dates. A double date is when you and your date pair up with another couple, and a group date is when three or more couples participate in a date together. Dating with other couples is a lot of fun! Not only does it make conversation easier but there's always a lot more laughter when people pair up and go on group dates together. Group and double dating also helps keep things light and appropriate.

Refrain from Steady Dating:

Youth should avoid dating the same person too regularly. It's also best to wait until you are older to steadily date someone, such as after high school and even after a mission. President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
"Steady dating at an early age leads so often to tragedy. Studies have shown that the longer a boy and girl date one another, the more likely they are to get into trouble

"It is better, my friends, to date a variety of companions until you are ready to marry. Have a wonderful time, but stay away from familiarity. Keep your hands to yourself" ("A Prophet's Counsel and Prayer for Youth," Ensign, Jan 2001, 2).

LDS Dating and the Law of Chastity:

One of God's greatest commandments is to keep the law of chastity which means to not have any sexual activity outside of marriage. While dating you should always respect both you and your date by refraining from thinking, saying, or doing anything that stimulates feelings of desire and arousal. In For the Strength of Youth: Fulfilling Our Duty to God it says:
"Always treat your date with respect, never as an object to be used for your lustful desires. Stay in areas of safety where you can easily control your physical feelings. Do not participate in talk or activities that arouse sexual feelings," ("Sexual Purity," 26).

Preparing for a Mission and Temple Marriage:

Keeping the law of chastity while dating is one of the most important ways to remain worthy when preparing for a mission and/or a temple marriage. When dating don't do anything that will question your worthiness to serve a mission and enter the Lord's holy temple.

Through the prophet Alma, the Lord taught us to "bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love," (Alma 38:12). Learning how to control yourself while dating will greatly help prepare you for a strong, spiritual future.

Fun, Yet Simple, LDS Dating Ideas:

Dating doesn't have to be expensive! Not only is it impractical, but planning an extravagant date is unnecessary, even for a formal date. Browse through these great LDS dating ideas to find some simple and fun things you can plan for your next date. Many of these dating ideas are relatively inexpensive or even free.

Dating can be fun as you remember your standards and refrain from becoming too serious too soon. The time will eventually come when you will be ready to prepare for temple marriage through steady dating and courtship. Until then choose to uphold your standards and follow the Lord's counsel while dating.

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